(Bloomberg) -- Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin LLC resumed sending tourists to space on Sunday, launching six private passengers on a short flight more than 60 miles above the Earth.

The passengers included Ed Dwight, a former Air Force captain who was selected as the first Black astronaut candidate in 1961 but never got to fly to space with NASA. “This was fabulous,” he said after emerging from the crew capsule after touchdown.

The flight was delayed by an hour before taking off at about 9:35 a.m. local time from the company’s West Texas launch site. Following takeoff, the vehicle reached what many institutions consider to be beyond the boundary of space. The rocket and capsule then returned to Earth, with the rocket landing upright a few minutes after takeoff. The capsule also successfully touched down, using two of its three parachutes, roughly 15 minutes after takeoff.

This flight is Blue Origin’s first tourist mission on New Shepard since August 2022. The company was forced to halt flights of the rocket after a New Shepard vehicle suffered an engine failure midflight during an uncrewed mission in September of 2022. Blue Origin spent most of 2023 investigating the failure and making design corrections, and the company successfully returned to flight with another uncrewed mission in December.

Blue Origin has now launched seven tourist missions on New Shepard to date, famously flying celebrities like William Shatner, Michael Strahan and Bezos himself. In all, New Shepard has flown 37 humans above the internationally recognized boundary of space, the company said on the launch webcast. 

The company, seen as a future key strategic rival to Elon Musk’s SpaceX, plans to debut a much larger and more powerful New Glenn rocket later this year capable of launching cargo to orbit. Blue Origin also aims to send humans to the moon later this decade for NASA. 

Read More: Elon Musk vs. Jeff Bezos Is America’s New Moon Race

(Updates with details of the flight starting in third paragraph.)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.